The Democratic Party often times reminds voters and republicans that the GOP is no longer the party of Abraham Lincoln, as the Republican Party have begun to use dog whistle racism as a tactic to energize their base. I have no problem with reminding the Republicans of this fact, it's true that if Abraham Lincoln ran today he'd have been called a RINO and would not have had a shot in the primaries. He would've been lucky to win a nomination for a local race, much less the Presidency. But Democrats also need to remember that they are no longer the party of Franklin Roosevelt and Lyndon Johnson.
Several prominent Democrats like Nancy Pelosi and Dianne Feinstein have argued against universal healthcare and free public college tuition. They represent the moderate portion of the Democratic Party that believes that we should stick with Obamacare entirely which only seeks to defend a capitalist approach to healthcare. Now I think that Obamacare has great elements to it, but instead of wanting to create a public option, several prominent Democrats have advocated against that, leaving all of us at the mercy of the capitalist healthcare system. A system, I'd remind you, has little incentive to respond to public need so long as there is no real competition to them on the market that responds to that public need.
Those of us who need a solution to this problem still have to deal with the capitalist system that created so many of the problems we have today. This is why we have Medicare and Medicaid, so that those who need help and support have an option that isn't ran by people who bear no allegiance to them.
Not to mention that these leaders within the Democratic Party who seem to be diametrically opposed to any kind of change to Obamacare have to realize that this was a Republican proposal from the early 1990's called HEART which was sponsored by Bob Dole, Orrin Hatch, Chuck Grassley, and Richard Lugar. HEART had an individual mandate, standardized benefits, a voucher program, and barred the denial of insurance due to preexisting conditions.
Those who are well off, see no problem with this system because they're simply ignorant to the needs of those who are poor. Sure, this is a great start to how we should respond. But those who have been screwed by the free market "solution" to a basic necessity like healthcare stand to gain nothing. Many corporations, to protect a profit margin, raised the financial burden on their customers when the Affordable Care Act was passed. If you're well off, this may not hurt you like someone in the lower class or lower middle class. Those who have benefited from a society driven by wealth and money seem to have no problem putting others at the mercy of it. At this point, the only difference between the Democrats and the Republicans is deciding which, if any, regulations to apply to this market.
The point of this is to say that FDR and LBJ applied a radical change to the country through their Anti-poverty programs. They changed the way we as a governed society care for the poor. Democrats who now oppose expanding those programs often times tend to be those who don't need that radical change. But those who Democrats claim to be fighting for, those who have been thrown around by this system and treated like they're rights are malleable, in all reality don't have a great friend in the Democratic Party anymore.
Democrats have dismissed healthcare plans and education plans that have worked in countless other countries as just pure socialism and dismiss them as too radical. It's also important to note that when Republicans respond like that and with that sentiment towards gun control ("Australia isn't REALLY safer!" or "It may work in Japan but it can't work here") Democrats treat that as an ignorant argument that isn't valid enough to consider in debate.
If the Democratic Party wants to be the party of the working class they need to remember what the Democratic Party of the 40's, 50's, and 60's embodied in their legislation. Protecting the Working Family. Not the Walton Family.